If you remember Orly’s Plastix Collection, then the finish to these may seem familiar. It’s a bit like vinyl; it’s not matte because there is a muted shine to the natural finish, but it’s not your traditional cream. This type of finish is tempermental; ensure that each coat is dry before applying the next one, and it’s best to wait as long as possible for the final coat to dry before doing anything else. These will pick up and show texture so, so much if you rush! They dry quicker than your standard polish but not as quickly as a matte finished shade.
Illamasqua’s Intense Lipgloss formula is one of my favorites, especially when you’re hunting for an opaque gloss. It delivers shine but full color coverage without feathering or bleeding. I typically get really good wear, too; when I sported Belladonna on its own, it wore for a full six hours and lasted until eight hours where I felt I needed to reapply. The glossiness fades quicker (mostly gone by the third hour), but the color lingers for much longer. It’s non-sticky, too, and I couldn’t detect any scent or taste.
I thought the color was pretty as it could be, but the texture is dry, which may be a nice feature for oilier skin types, but on normal-to-dry skin, it’s not my favorite texture in a blush because it emphasizes skin unevenness. The sparkle could be finer; it seems to sit on the surface of the blush, so it translates as more of a sparkle than a real shimmer-sheen. I found the formula wore well, though, so that it was still visible after eight hours of wear.
I love, love, loved the idea of Beguile. Like NYX Ice Glitter Nail Polish, this twinkles and looks phenomenal in person, because it needs movement to really come alive. Unfortunately, the texture makes it harder to apply. It’s definitely not something you could apply dry without some sort of adhesive base; it winds up all over your face and just doesn’t stick without something more. Even when I used a mixing medium, I still had some fall out during the day. I’d also recommend using it over another color (even if it’s neutral, like a beige), because it doesn’t create a solid base color easily.
Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss (£13.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “dark green shimmer.” The brand’s Sheer Lipgloss is rather self-explanatory–it’s a sheerer gloss that adds shine. This is definitely not as opaque as the Intense Lipglosses, but I’d say it’s more pigmented than it is sheer. I initially thought it was an Intense Lipgloss that suffered from unevenness in application, because it runs semi-opaque.
I found Havoc to deliver excellent color payoff, too–really rich, bold color in a single stroke. It’s an intense burgundy wine with a semi-matte finish–no shimmer at all–that is so in tune with the autumnal hues. The brown in the color makes it easier to wear, because if the red tones were more dominating, it could give the illusion of I-just-cried-my-eyes-out when worn–which is not usually the look one wants. The closest comparable shade is Make Up For Ever #11, which is redder, lighter, and shimmery.